Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Souls and Earrings

About the earrings.

My sister Tracy gave them to me as a graduation gift a very long time ago. They were my favorite. I'm no good with remembering numbers and can tend to exaggerate or embellish stories, because that is how they narrate in my head, BUT it has been close to 20 years that one of them has been missing. Tempted to toss the one I had, I just couldn't do it. So glad I didn't. 

Last Sunday morning, as I was looking for some other thing that I misplaced, it just showed up. It was just...there. Not behind a piece of furniture or stuck in a sweater...just there...in my jewelry stash. I know I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but how could I have missed this thing for almost 2 decades...right there in front of me? Maybe I had been foolish and sloppy in my search? For SO long though? Or maybe the Bling Fairy graced me with it in the still of the night? I dunno.

Not a complicated story, but one with spiritual implications. Twice this week I've read similar stories in my devotions and other things about "lost and precious" treasures being found. Sometimes I feel like things are lost forever, that life is just tough and I need to move on. When situations look hopeless, remember things aren't always the way they look. God sees, knows and controls everything. He hears the prayers of his own children and will do right by all of us. If it is good that we find what has been lost, then we will...in His time.

Keep asking.
Keep seeking
Keep trusting

Sometimes I am sloppy and foolish in my Bible study and prayer life. Just not really believing. Like playing Hide and Seek with toddlers...just go through the motions, act surprised and put in the time until the promised episode is over. If I truly believe in the power of God to find the lost and heal the broken, would I play with more heart? I think so. 

These little gems have reminded me of this truth and I have revisited my prayer lists. I will not give up on requests of the heart. 

I have 4 more missing earrings. No kidding. 

Recycled paper ones from my sister-in-law.
Silver rectangles from sister Jill when she lived in Vancouver.
"mandolin" ones from sister Jill's trip to Antigua.
Cheap but cute round pair from Wal Mart.

You can bet that these babies aren't goin' anywhere soon.

What is it with my sisters and lost earrings?????

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Get the Heart before the Horse

Love what is good and hate what is evil.

This has been my prayer for my children for many years. When life gets confusing...when too many opinions are given...when I don't know exactly what to pray for...this has been my simple prayer. 

We have vision and dreams for our kids. ideas of what we want them to "look like" or be doing as an adult. Activities we imagine them succeeding at, people we'd love them to be married to and lifestyles that would just make us so proud. I still have these dreams, and I still pray for them...but...the details reflect the heart and so the heart is what should be the core of our prayers.

The heart has always represented the "desires" of a person. All of our actions will flow from them and be a reflection of them. Trying to dot every i and cross every t is painstaking work and ridiculously unnecessary. We are instructed to "Be faithful in little and you'll be faithful in much" in Luke 16:10. Obviously true. We need to be concerned about all the little things we do so that the bigger things won't get derailed. God should be honored in every breath we take and every syllable we speak. That is my responsibility for myself...but can I manage that for 4 kids?! Absolutely not. I can barely manage my own behavior that closely. 

Managing behavior before managing the heart is backward. If I pray for and deal with the desires and motives of my kids' hearts, then God honoring behaviors will follow...naturally! Keeping my kids behavior in check all the time will never make them love Jesus and all of His good things. It also gets very tiring...trying to be good all of the time! And then there are those moments when we are weak and tempted...good behavior patterns aren't always enough to keep us from moral failure. But love is. It's the difference between a works salvation and a relationship salvation. If we adore Jesus and are convinced that His ways bring joy then those bad little things we do become easy to ignore, reject and even hate. Once we hate a pet sin, it is almost conquered.
I have seen the difference in trying to manage the behavior of my kids and watching the Holy Spirit transform their heart. Wow. All of my good mommy effort could never cause a heart to love what is good. When you see the power of the Spirit do this you will fall on your knees in awe, cry in gratefulness and plead for more. Invest your parenting effort in this prayer...it's something you can manage better and something you can never produce on your own. Give your own heart, soul, mind and strength to the Father and watch Him raise your kids for you.

Love what is good and hate what is evil.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Lead on Gentle Savior


I love moving forward. I'm not a collector of things nor one who holds tight to the past. Heritage and experience are appreciated, but the past is the past and is welcome to stay there. There is nothing more exciting to me than the anticipation of what God will do in my life. Even if the future looks grim, knowing His guaranteed love and goodness makes the hope come alive. Even when the future looks bright, knowing He will share it with me makes it eternally enjoyable. 

It's time to clean out the closets, get rid of the old stuff and fill them with the new. Clean up...throw out...and make a plan. Believe the power of God to change things. Believe in His ability to make you able to do those things He has asked of you. His ability to make you more like Him in 2013. I know it seems like a stretch, but He can do it. 

Don't seek happiness, prosperity and comfort...seek a closer walk with Jesus. With that, you can have peace and joy no matter what the circumstance. Who am I that rain should not fall on my life? I don't ask for it, but I expect it along with the fellowship of the Holy Spirit to get me through victoriously. Dedicate your life to walking alongside those whose lives are being rained upon. Hold their hand, lift their load a little and pray continually for their souls. 

Have a hopeful heart. Live without entitlements. Seek first the kingdom...and 2013 will be a blessing to God and a great benefit to you.

Have a Blessed New Year!!!
This song has been a real blessing to me over the past year and so I must share. May it be your prayer this year too.